Golf: LPGA's October Shanghai event cancelled

LPGA Commisioner Mike Whan speaks during the closing ceremony after the final day singles matches of The Solheim Cup, on Aug 20, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - The Alisports LPGA tournament scheduled to be played in Shanghai October 5-8 has been cancelled due to local permitting problems in China, the LPGA announced on Tuesday.

"It is with deep regret that I need to announce that we will not be playing the event in Shanghai this year," LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement issued in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"Unfortunately, we have just received word that the tournament was unsuccessful in obtaining approval from the local district government.

"The hardest part about this news is that we have a title sponsor, a tournament operator, a TV production group and a host venue all set to go. However, in China, sporting events of this nature cannot take place without approvals at multiple levels - and the local approval was denied."

The LPGA announced in October of last year that it was partnering with Alisports of Shanghai, a division of Alibaba Group, to own an LPGA tournament hosted annually in mainland China for the next 10 years.

While Whan called it "very disappointing" that the event had to be cancelled less than a month before it was scheduled to take place, he added that "given the strong sponsorship and desire to host the LPGA, we look forward to returning in 2018".

The tournament was won last year - when it was called the Reignwood LPGA Classic and played in Beijing - by seven-time LPGA winner Kim In Kyung of South Korea.

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